If a non-european citizen wants to apply to the EU Blue Card, such person does need a (University) degree to prove its qualifications?

I am a software developer with more than 10 years of experience, and I have published several scientific papers although I have not a degree.

For example, I have read in Finland having a degree is a requirement for the EU Blue Card. It is the same for all other EU Blue Card countries?

2 Answers 2


A university degree is pretty much required. Formally, what's required by the relevant EU directive are “higher professional qualifications” defined as

‘higher professional qualifications’ means qualifications attested by evidence of higher education qualifications or, by way of derogation, when provided for by national law, attested by at least five years of professional experience of a level comparable to higher education qualifications and which is relevant in the profession or sector specified in the work contract or binding job offer;

The details would be defined by each member state but the text implies that a degree of some kind is usually necessary although professional experience could be enough in exceptional cases. Looking at some national websites, it's definitely impossible in Germany but it might theoretically be possible in France.

That said, there are also stringent requirements on qualifying jobs and the number of blue cards issued each year is relatively small (between 20 and 30000 per year in Germany, which issues most of them, and not even 3000 in the next countries in the list, Poland and France) so I don't think the odds are very good without a degree.

Note that beside the blue card itself, the various member states still maintain their own traditional work visas, which might or might not require a formal degree. Most of them are not particularly easy to get but the EU blue card is not the only type of work permit/visa available in participating EU countries.


There are some countries issuing Blue Card without strict degree requirement in theory (as per 2019 year), to name a few:

1. Sweden

From Migrationsverket web-site:

In order to obtain an EU Blue Card, you must have:

  • ...

  • a university education equivalent to 180 university credits, or five years’ relevant professional experience

I asked Migrationsverket consultant to prove that, her answer:

<a Blue Card professional qualification requirement is> a university education equivalent to 180 university credits, or five years’ relevant professional experience.

You need to send a diploma/transcript from your university, or an employment certificate from previous, relevant employment.

2. Luxembourg

From the government web-site:

Third-country nationals must meet the following requirements first:

  • ...

  • show a document proving that they possess the high professional qualifications required for the activity or sector mentioned in the employment contract, or that they meet the requirements to carry out the regulated profession indicated in the employment contract.

Thus, document proving that they possess the high professional qualifications is not necessary a diploma.

I asked Direction de l'Immigration of Ministère des Affaires étrangères et européennes consultant to prove that, her answer:

<as a proof of qualification, please provide> either hand in a CV stating your professional experiences or a letter from a former employer as statement.

<the countries list to be continued>

  • As I mentioned in my answer this list also includes France but this isn't "whatever stated in the directive". The differences in implementation exist precisely because the directive itself provide for qualifications to be recognized without a degree while giving member states the possibility not to make use of this provision (cf. the excerpt I quoted).
    – Gala
    Commented Apr 27, 2019 at 11:26

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